The town of Bar Harbor, Maine, is now planning a roughly $750,000 project to connect fiber optic cable to town-owned properties so its staff can have speedy broadband Internet access at work.
(TNS) — The town of
The town has such access now, but will have to start paying $45,000 a year to
Instead of paying $45,000 annually to lease fiber from Charter, the town instead could put that money toward developing its own fiber optic network that would connect to all of the town's roughly two dozen buildings, members of the town's communications and technology committee told the town council on Tuesday. The locations of those town facilities include the transfer station on
The projected cost of building the network would be around $750,000, but the town's expenses in building and maintaining the network likely would be significantly less if it finds cost efficiencies and entities that could lease unused fiber from the town. Those specific cost savings to the town would become more apparent after the town puts out a request for proposals, likely in the latter half of 2021, members of the committee said.
A consultant hired by the town has predicted that the town's share of the development costs could be cut "by at least 50 percent" through partnerships and that annual operating costs of the system — estimated to be $32,000 — could be substantially reduced, if not eliminated, members of the committee told the council.
The main goal of the project is to better control the town's technology costs and, by extension, the property tax burden on local residents, said
The inquiries about improving local broadband access that the town has received from residents since the arrival in
"It's not a town-wide fiber network build-out, nor is it planned to be," Cornell said. "That said, we would hope and encourage that a third-party provider or ISP would be interested in providing consumer service to residents."
A few years ago, the town had estimated that it would cost $13 million to build a fiber optic network that served every address in town, even in remote neighborhoods. That idea never gained traction because of the prohibitive cost.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to budget $750,000 for the project, which would have to be approved by local voters next June before it moves forward.
(c)2020 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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